UPDATE 1-Thai lender SCB forms JV with Indonesian travel app Traveloka

(Adds background of investment)

BANGKOK, March 26 (Reuters) - Thailand’s third-largest bank by assets Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) on Friday announced a joint venture with Indonesian startup Traveloka to offer financial services and products to Thai customers.

The new joint venture, TREX Ventures, will combine Traveloka’s understanding of user behaviour and tap into SCB’s 16 million customers, Pitiporn Phanaphat, the chief financial officer of the bank’s venture arm, SCB 10X, said in a statement.

The announcement comes as Thai banks ramp up digital offerings and investments in technology.

TREX Ventures is SCB’s second partnership with an Indonesian startup. In 2019, it invested in Indonesian ride-hailer Gojek.

Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s largest online travel app, said the tie-up is its first joint venture dedicated to financial services.

“We believe Thailand’s consumer market offers abundant opportunities for Traveloka,” said Traveloka Group President Caesar Indra.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Ed Davies, Martin Petty